Today’s celebration of Easter with fellow believers in the church was such a blessing! Not only were we reminded of the undeserved grace of God, but celebrating the fact that our Savior is alive! We cannot take mercy for granted, and our worship is rooted in gratefulness for God’s love every day. Celebrating the gift of mercy will change our perspective of the purpose of our lives and our stewardship of our time on earth!
But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:40–43 (ESV)
Our pastor focused on the response of the two thieves on either side of Jesus today. While they were paying the penalty for their crimes, they each had a different view of the man that hung between them. This account reveals the heart of each of these men as they knew their life was coming to an end. Having a proper perspective of our sinful nature and the goodness of God is essential to sowing gratitude in our hearts and lives.
I was vividly reminded that I did not deserve the grace of God in my own life. The sin that I allowed in my life not only separated me from a relationship with God but was a declaration of my ingratitude for the costly gift of grace. He loved me so much that the punishment for sin was placed on God’s Son, Jesus. Yet, forgiveness was generously given when I submitted myself, repented of my sin, and committed to serving Him.
I had to decide which perspective I would have in my life. The first criminal did not believe He needed the mercy of God. His pride and selfish desires hardened his heart and kept him from recognizing the Savior. As a result, he died in his sin and paid the ultimate penalty….when he didn’t have to.
A Different Heart
The other criminal had a humble heart and recognized his sinful nature, which positioned him to experience forgiveness. His heart understood that there was something different about Jesus. This realization of the savior led to his declaration of Jesus as the Son of God and received forgiveness of his sin.
Celebrating the gift of mercy begins with a proper perspective of our shortcomings. Knowing that we do not deserve the grace of God is a reminder of how generous and loving He is. That He would send His son to pay the punishment for our sin causes us to respond with humble worship. Submitting ourselves to His will for our lives is only the beginning!
It begins with Christ!
If you don’t know Christ as your savior, it begins with the first step. Next, committing your life to serve Him is the most significant decision! Finally, for more information on serving the Lord: CLICK HERE!
Thank you for reading: Celebrating the Gift of Mercy!
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